The SF 49ers tight end just bought an adorable Belgian Malinois for his family -- and is in the process of training it to serve as a home protection dog.
It's cute. It's friendly. It will rip your arm out of the socket if you screw with it.
Vernon's training the dog with his pal Jas Leverette at Cali K-9 Solutions -- who's been training police dogs, protection dogs and your friendly neighborhood pets for years.
Leverette tells us Vernon's been working with the dogs at the facility for a while (including the one in the video above) -- and has a natural talent for it.
"Vernon just has a way with the animals. He could be a trainer if he wanted to."
Leverette says Vernon had been looking for a new dog for a while ... and fell in love with the Belgian Malinois because of its temperament and "disposition to be a great protector."
"In this area, there's a lot of home invasions. It's an epidemic," Leverette says ... "This dog offers protection for his family."